Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Tom Jones

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann


This study examined the impact a student’s attachment to God has on his or her college adjustment. Past research has indicated that a person’s parental attachment can impact their ability to adjust. More recent research builds upon the construct that an attachment relationship can be formed with God. Using the Attachment to God Inventory and the Student Adaptation to God Questionnaire, 141 students were surveyed at a mid-sized, faith-based institution located in the Midwest. Using a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), the influence of attachment to God was measured on overall college adjustment as well as the sub-categories of academic adjustment, social adjustment, personal-emotional adjustment, and attachment to the institution. The results indicated that a student’s adjustment to college was impacted in all areas of college adjustment by their attachment to God. Specifically, a person with a secure attachment to God adjusted better than those with a fearful attachment to God. One interesting finding was that those with a dismissive attachment to God adjusted similarly to students with a secure attachment to God. This seemed to indicate that the level of anxiety a student has in his or her relationship with God had a larger impact than their avoidance in their relationship with God. The results of this study supported the need for institutions to acknowledge the role spirituality plays in a student’s developmental process, especially the process of adjusting to college. Further research is needed to examine the impact that attachment to God plays in overall college student development.